Glossary of Terms


AA-Associate in Arts Degree: A two-year program of instruction consisting of courses offered to freshmen and sophomores intending to enter baccalaureate programs. All AA courses are advanced and professional in nature.

Academic Success Centers: Math, reading, and writing support centers for scheduled classes, referrals, and drop-in students needing help with academic reading, writing and math projects.

Accreditation: Certification that a college meets a set of criteria established by one of six private, nonprofit, voluntary regional accrediting associations.

Add/Drop: The procedure used to alter class schedules after initial registration and through the first week of the semester. During this time, students can adjust their schedule by dropping or adding a course without penalty.

Advanced Placement (AP): A national examination through which credit may be awarded in specified subjects. The minimum passing score is required for the awarding of credit applicable toward a degree. Information is available in the Counseling, Advising, and Assessment Center.

AS-Associate in Science Degree: A two-year program of instruction consisting of college level courses to prepare for entry into employment. All AS courses are advanced and professional or post-secondary vocational courses.

ACT-Enhanced (ACT-E): American College Testing Program. One of the assessment tests accepted for entry/placement at Florida SouthWestern State College.

Articulation Agreement: State Board of Education rules that establish provisions to facilitate the smooth transition of students through the secondary, community college and university educational systems.

Audit: A college credit course taken for informational instruction only. College credit is not earned and regular fees are assessed. Testing and course pre-and co-requisites apply.

Baccalaureate (Bachelor’s): A degree obtained by completing 120+ credit hours. The first 60 hours are usually made up of general education classes and the final 60+ hours consist of major specific coursework.

Baccalaureate and University Programs Division: This division is comprised of FSW’s baccalaureate programs and FSW University Center partnership programs.

Catalog: A resource of academic policies, procedures, college and degree requirements, faculty and course descriptions, published yearly (but subject to change).

CLAS (College Level Academic Skills): Beginning July 1, 2011, CLAS will no longer be an associate's degree or bachelor's degree graduation requirement.

CLEP (College Level Examination Program): CLEP is a national examination through which credit may be awarded in specified subjects. Meeting the minimum passing score is required for awarding of credit applicable toward a degree. Information is available in the Counseling, Advising and Assessment Center.

Continuing Education: A variety of non-credit subjects offered to the community through Florida SouthWestern State College.

C.E.U. (Continuing Education Unit): One C.E.U. is awarded for every ten contact hours of instruction in an organized continuing education/noncredit course.

Co-requisite: A course which must be taken at the same time as another course.

Course substitution: The process through which a student petitions the College for a replacement of a required course with a course that meets a minimum of 70% of the course learning outcomes. The course must be completed at an accredited post-secondary institution with evidence of common content and learning outcomes.

Course transfer: The process of bringing in an identical, or nearly identical, course from another accredited post-secondary institution to replace a required course at FSW. The transfer evaluation process is guided by the Florida Common Course Numbering System or catalog descriptions and a syllabus.

Course waiver: Occurs when the applicant has credits in the subject area that are above and beyond the requirements of the waived course.

Credit by Examination: The award of credit is based upon the demonstration of knowledge of prior learning as assessed by examination. This process may also include an assessment of professional certification. Examples include: Advanced Placement, CLEP, FL EMT-B and/or Paramedic Certification, FDLE CJSTC exam, International Baccalaureate and the National Registry Exam for Radiologic Technologists.

Credit Hour (or Semester Hour): The credit hours reflect approximately the total hours a student spends per week in class. For example, a student enrolled in ENC 1101 (3 credits) spends approximately three hours per week for approximately 15 weeks in class.

Degree-Seeking Status: A student whose admission requirements have been fully met and who is working toward a degree.

Drop: A student may drop a course during the add/drop period. A dropped course does not appear on the permanent record. The appropriate form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar before the established deadline. Drops after that date may be granted only through established college procedures.

Early Admission: Full-time enrollment at FSW by eligible high school students. Permission of the high school principal or designee is required.

Early College (Dual Enrollment): A student enrolled at two educational institutions (a high school and a community college) concurrently. See your high school counselor for information.

FSW Online: The systematic effort to reach potential learners who may be excluded from the traditional classroom by constraints of time, place and/or circumstance. FSW Internet courses are an example of distance learning.

FSW University Center: An alliance between Florida SouthWestern State College and specific baccalaureate and graduate degree granting colleges and universities that allows Florida SouthWestern State College graduates to pursue various bachelor’s and graduate degrees while remaining on a Florida SouthWestern State College campus.

Educational Plan: A plan of required and elective courses prepared by an academic advisor to assist students in reaching their academic goals.

Effective Catalog: Contingent upon a student’s continuous enrollment, the catalog in effect at the time a student first enrolls governs the student’s graduation requirements.

FGL: The Florida SouthWestern's Guiding Light program consists of student assistants who work in the Office of Admissions. They assist in student recruitment and retention.

Fee: A non-refundable financial charge for services rendered, such as laboratory fees or special tests.

Financial Aid Transcript: Official record of financial aid funds received by a student. This is required of all students who transfer from another institution and apply for financial assistance at FSW.

First Year Experience (FYE) Program: A comprehensive blueprint for preparing any student entering college for the first time to become a self-reliant learner. The FYE Program will include advising, orientation, our first year college experience course, and academic support for students as well as training and development for faculty.

Foreign Language Requirement: A requirement of Florida’s state universities and the baccalaureate programs at Florida SouthWestern State College. Universities generally require two years of the same foreign language at the high school, or 8-10 credit hours at the community college level.

Full-time Status: Enrollment in 12 or more credit hours in a Fall, Spring, or Summer semester.

General Education Hours: A specific number of semester hours of basic liberal arts courses required as foundation in the Associate in Arts degree program.

Gordon Rule: State Board Rule 6A–10.030 states the following: Six (6) semester hours of English coursework and six (6) semester hours of additional coursework in which the student is required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments. Each institution shall designate the courses that fulfill the writing requirements of this section. These course designations shall be submitted to the Statewide Course Numbering System. An institution to which a student transfers shall accept courses so designated by the sending institution as meeting the writing requirements outlined in this section. Within the mathematics area, completion of specific courses is required.

Grade: Alphabetical measures of academic success ranging from excellent (A) to failure (F).

Grade Forgiveness: A method by which students may repeat a limited number of courses to improve their grade point average. Only the grade received on the last repeat is used in the GPA calculation. Grade forgiveness is limited to courses in which the student earned a “D” or “F” grade. Students are limited to two repeats per course. Upon a third attempt, the grade issued is the final grade for that course.

Grade Point Average (GPA): The calculation of credits attempted, credits earned and grades earned.

Grant: Non-repayable financial aid funds awarded for college expenses to qualified students.

International or Diversity Focus Classes: Florida state universities may require students to take courses that have an international or diversity focus. These are designed with an “I” after the course descriptions.

International Student: A student who has entered the United States on a non immigrant visa (F1) (most often an individual on a student visa).

Limited Access/Enrollment: A designation given to programs that require additional admission requirements (i.e., higher GPA, higher test scores, completion of certain coursework). Admission is granted to a limited number of applicants.

Major: A group of related courses that constitute a focused program of study in a specific area of knowledge.

Mini-semester: A short semester of credit instruction. Also referred to as Fall A or B or Spring A or B.

Native course: A college-credit course offered through Florida SouthWestern State College.

Non-credit: A course for which college credit is not granted.

Part-time status: Enrollment in 11 or fewer credit hours in a Fall, Spring, or Summer semester.

PERT: "Post-Secondary Education Readiness Test" is an academic assessment used for placement into either college level classes or college preparatory courses.

Placement Testing: Initial testing and subsequent evaluation of students to aid in placement and progress in reading comprehension, writing, English, arithmetic and algebra.

Preparatory course: A non-credit skill development course.

Prerequisite: A course which must be satisfactorily completed before entering a related course.

PSAV: Post secondary adult vocational certificate programs are based upon clock hours instead of credit hours. Coursework leads directly to specific jobs such as Dental Assisting.

Quality Points: The value, ranging from “4” to “0” for grades “A” to “F” multiplied by the number of credits; i.e., 3 credits x A(4pts.)=12 quality points for all courses completed. These points are used to determine grade point average (GPA).

Registration: May be accomplished in person or online at www.fsw.edu.

Residency: Further information is available in the Office of the Registrar.

Scholarships: Financial assistance for college expenses granted by donors to qualified recipients. Further information is available in the Financial Aid Office.

Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT): An academic assessment used for placement into either college level classes or college preparatory courses.

Semester (Term): Refers to the way an academic year is divided. The academic year consists of three semesters or terms (Fall, Spring ,and Summer), each lasting approximately 16 weeks.

Semester Hour: See credit hour.

Student Classification: Pertains to full-time, part-time, audit, credit, or non-credit.

Student Government Association (SGA): Official representatives of the student body to the administration in matters concerning student life.